.
July 6th, 2009
10:42 AM ET

Al Franken goes to Washington

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/30/art.frankensmile0630.gi.jpg caption="Sen.-elect Al Franken will be sworn in on Tuesday."]

Robert Yoon and Paul Steinhauser
CNN

Next week Al Franken arrives in the nation's capitol to take his seat as his state's junior U.S. senator. So where does the Minnesota Democrat stand on some of the major issues the Senate will be grappling with this year?

Here's a look:

HEALTH CARE REFORM

According to his senate campaign, Franken supports universal health care. He backs requiring states to cover their citizens, with the federal government providing the necessary funding. Franken supports requiring states to cover all children 18 with Medicare-style single payer system health care.

CLEAN ENERGY

Franken supports the "Apollo project" on renewable energy, which calls for a comprehensive economic investment strategy to build a clean energy economy and cut energy bills for American families and businesses. He supports additional research and funding for alternative energy sources such as corn, soy, wind, and solar power. Franken also backs increased CAFE standards for vehicles and calls for additional funding, research for energy efficiency programs and light rail.

IMMIGRATION

Franken supports "comprehensive immigration reform," which includes creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements. He backs stronger fines, incarceration for employers who hire undocumented workers. Franken calls for tamper-proof worker identification cards. Franken opposes mass deportation of illegal immigrants and supports guest worker programs for seasonal jobs. He wants to work with Mexico to improve its economic conditions to reduce incentive for illegal immigrants to come to the U.S.

SOTOMAYOR NOMINATION

Franken will sit on the Judiciary Committee, so he's expected to take part in the confirmation hearing of Sonya Sotomayor, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court justice David Souter. The hearing is expected to begin on Monday, July 13. Following the president's nomination of Sotomayor, Franken released a statement saying: "I look forward to joining my colleagues as we examine Judge Sotomayor's qualifications carefully before confirmation. However, it is already clear that President Obama has chosen a remarkable jurist with an impressive record of accomplishment and a life story with which working families can identify


Filed under: Raw Politics
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Jim M

    You may not agree with Mr. Franken's opinions or by his razor-thin victory. However, he should be given the recognition due him by garnering 65% of the primary vote in his state in a 7-person race. Do the nay sayers of the democratic process favor a Honduras-type system of having the military canceling-out the majority winner when they disagree with him?

    July 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  2. RLWellman

    I'm glad that the Democrats think the Senate is a joke. This is why they voted a comedian into office.

    July 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  3. Enough

    The Democrats have reached a new low in electing this clown to join the circus on Capitol hill. Our once great country is doomed!!

    July 6, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  4. Cindy

    Hey..Al can't do any worse than all of the other joksters that work in congress!

    Cindy..Ga.

    July 6, 2009 at 11:57 am |